Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar is of the opinion that India have eventually found an apt MS Dhoni replacement in Manish Pandey in the limited overs cricket. "Hindustan ko akhir Dhoni ka replacement mil gya," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel following India’s comprehensive comeback win against Australia in the three match ODI series.
"India has finally got Dhoni's replacement. They have found a good fit in Manish Pandey. Shreyas Iyer too looks a complete player and these add depth to India's batting," he said.
MS Dhoni has not featured for the men in blue since the 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand. Recently, captain cool was excluded from the BCCI central contract list for October 2019 to September 2020 period.
"These players have played a lot in the IPL, they know how to handle pressure, they do not care about big names and hence, end up playing important innings," Akhtar said about Iyer and Pandey.
Manish Pandey could not play an instrumental role with the bat in the recently concluded three match ODI series against the Aussies as the top order comprising of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan got the deed done.
Notwithstanding that, Pandey grabbed the focus with his brilliant fielding ability during the second ODI in Rajkot, Pandey pulled off an absolute one-handed stunner to dismiss David Warner.
The Indian side have now left for New Zealand where they will take part in five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.